Westcoast Connection
PRE-KINDERGARTEN

For a daily dose of great educational games and lessons, follow our “Apps By Age” contributor and local mom, Julie @play -n- learn on FB! Click photo for link to page.

 

KINDERGARTEN

For a daily dose of great educational games and lessons, follow our “Apps By Age” contributor and local mom, Julie @play -n- learn on FB! Click photo for link to page.

1st & 2nd GRADE

For a daily dose of great educational games and lessons, follow our “Apps By Age” contributor and local mom, Julie @play -n- learn on FB! Click photo for link to page.

3rd & 4th GRADE

For a daily dose of great educational games and lessons, follow our “Apps By Age” contributor and local mom, Julie @play -n- learn on FB! Click photo for link to page.

JOJO'S WORLD: PreK - 4th (Created by a Local Mom!)

Jojo’s World is an exciting blend of gaming and education to keep kids hooked and learning languages. The app is totally immersive and encourages kids to discover new words in an interactive and engaging environment. Everything in Jojo’s World responds to touch with fun sounds and motion. Now available on the App store in Spanish, French, German, English, Chinese and Italian. Meet the Mom behind the app!

LOCAL DESTINATIONS
  • It is time to start planning ski weekends and local day trips to mountains that are within driving distance. Here’s a list of some of our favorites that have proven to be great family mountains.

     

    Ski Rentals

    Don’t forget to go early to get your kids ski rentals. The earlier, the better as inventory can become limited.

    Darien Sport Shop

    Outdoor Sports Center

    Pedigree Ski Shop

     

    Day Trips

    While these mountains are small, they are the perfect size to get little ones or beginners started on green runs or the magic carpet. All can easily be accessed from Fairfield County and can be done as a day trip.

    Thunder Ridge

    Mohawk

    Mount Southington

     

    Overnight Destinations

    Stowe, VT : The farthest on our list but well worth the drive! Stowe has an amazing ski school, great terrain, numerous lodging options and lots to do. This is a great mountain for a long weekend or school break. Stowe boasts the highest peak in VT and is now part of the Epic ski pass collection.

    Stay: Stowe Mountain LodgeTop Notch Resort and townhouses at the Green Mountain Inn

    Eat: Harvest Market (pick up wine, cheese & other yummy treats), take the chair lift to the Cliff House and enjoy a proper lunch mid-ski day and Piecasso or The Roost for an early kids dinner

    Don’t Miss: Stopping at Ben Jerry’s for a Factory Tour, Sleigh rides with Gentle Giants

    Manchester, VT: This town has so much for kids and parents to do with Stratton and Bromley easily accessible. Bromley is smaller but the perfect family mountain for little ones or kids who want some independence, all trails lead to one lodge so it is easy to meet up. For the better skiers and those who want more terrain, Stratton is another great family mountain with some nice dining options at the base. Manchester has several hotel options so you have the perfect combination of nearby skiing and access to a charming New England town with a variety of shops and restaurants.

    Stay: The EquinoxKimpton Taconic HotelThe Hill Farm Inn

    Eat: Cooper Grouse, The Perfect Wife Restaurant & Tavern, Zooey’s Deli,

    Don’t Miss: Northshire Bookstore (amazing book selection and adjoining café), shopping at the outlets, a visit or cross-country skiing at Hildene

    Woodstock, VT: Woodstock is quintessential VT with covered bridges and a picturesque town. Stay at The Woodstock Inn and then daytrip to Killington. Or if your kids are beginners, Suicide Six might be enough mountain for them and is very close to the Inn.

    Stay: The Woodstock Inn

    Eat: Simon Pearce (an all time favorite), The Red Rooster at the Woodstock Inn, The Prince & The Pauper

    Don’t Miss: Dining and glass blowing at Simon Pearce down the road in Quechee, a visit to the Montshire Science Museum in Norwich or a visit to Billings Farm right in Woodstock

WEST COAST SKIING

COMING SOON!

2018

It’s that time of year again, bring on Spring Break!  It is always hard to find the perfect family vacation spot but here are our top three picks for this Spring Break.

 

1. The Hotel Terra — Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ski in, ski out at this slope side eco-boutique hotel with spacious rooms to accommodate families of any size.  There’s an Italian restaurant at the hotel, called Il Villaggio Osteria, that is the perfect spot for dinner with the kids.  And, the Mangy Moose is within walking distance for Apres ski, if you want to do a casual early dinner or catch some live music.  Plus, there’s a heated pool for the kids and a little playground right outside. The sister hotel, Teton Mountain Lodge, right across from it, is also a great lodging option. The Kids Ranch Ski School at Jackson Hole is very well organized, making drop offs and picks up smooth and the kids will learn how to ski quickly on the Jackson Hole terrain. While the kids are in ski school, be sure to treat yourself to a nice lunch at the Handlebar Restaurant at the Four Seasons or Piste on the mountain.  Take a day off and explore the town with breakfast at the Persephone bakery or lunch at Cafe Genevieve and a visit to the National Elk Refuge. And if you can time it right, the Rendezvous music festival is a fun weekend to be at Jackson Hole, you can enjoy the perfect combination of live music along with amazing skiing.

 

2. Eau de Palm Beach — Palm Beach, FLA

This is a beautiful family resort that has recently been redone in modern Jonathon Adler decor.  It is a quick car ride from Palm Beach International airport and about a 15 minute drive from Worth Avenue.  The room options have great configurations for families. The hotel has easy access to the beach and beautiful swimming pools with plenty of lounge chairs. There is a kids club with pirate and mermaids themed activities called AquaNuts and a teen club with the latest technology called the Coast. You can easily head to Worth Avenue for shopping and dinner at Pizza Al Fresco.  Or, if you’d like a date night, head to Imoto or Saint Ambroeus for dinner and have a drink at the Brazilian Court or Buccan before or after. For shopping, be sure to visit C. Orrico, P.B. Boys Club and Aristokids. If you want a break from the beach, Lion Country Safari, the Palm Beach Zoo and renting bikes from Palm Beach Bicycle (with lunch at the counter at Green’s pharmacy) are all fun activities.

 

3. The Springs Hotel — La Fortuna, Costa Rica

If your family is adventurous and likes to stay busy,  this is the hotel for you. Located by Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, have the hotel send a driver to pick you up at the airport so you can relax and let a local who knows the roads get you there.  The Club Rio outdoor center will entertain the kids with a plethora of activities — horseback riding, tubing, kayaking, wild life sanctuary, repelling, nature walks and more. The outdoor center is located right at the resort making it very easy to keep the kids busy all day long.  Plus, The Springs Hotel, has natural hot mineral springs, pools and waterfalls for you to enjoy (including a water slide and swim up bar) all with a beautiful view of the volcano. The concierge provides a list of local tours and activities to get your adrenaline pumping — waterfall canyon rappel, ATV extreme tour, canopy zip line and Arenal hanging bridges (they will guide you on what’s best for your child’s age).  The rooms are very spacious with layouts that are well configured for families and most have nice outdoor patios with hammocks so you can enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

Please check back for The Local Moms Network expanding list of favorite family friendly hotels.  We are always researching and looking for recommendations that fit our criteria 1) hotel room configurations that accommodate families 2) activities that appeal to all ages 3) desirable locations that parents and kids will both enjoy (and an opportunity for parents to have some alone time too!). 

In Fairfield County, it seems that food trucks are popping up everywhere these days! If you are looking for one for an event, a party, a fundraiser, or anything else, we have consolidated a list of some of our favorites- as well as many others that have come highly recommended from moms like you! If you notice any missing that you love, of course let us know! Happy Eating!

2017

Costumes are ordered, mums are out, and now we need pumpkins to decorate! Here is your Fall PUMPKIN PICKING GUIDE to the best family friendly recommendations in CT!

In addition to pumpkins, many of these wonderful farms also offer things like petting zoos, photo op areas, cider mills, corn mazes & hayrides.

 

Bishops Orchard
Bishop’s Orchards is an agricultural operation in Guilford, Connecticut, that serves as a farm, retail market, tourist attraction and winery. Bishop’s Orchards began operating as a family farm in 1871. Kids can enjoy a Corn Maze now through the end of October (weekends, 10-5pm). Open 10am-5pm everyday

Address: 1355 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437 – Just under 1 hour

 

Blue Jay Orchards
Blue Jay Orchards is a picturesque 140 acre farm nestled in the quaint New England town of Bethel, Connecticut.  It is one of the very few remaining commercial orchards in Fairfield County. They offer apple picking, a pumpkin patch and wagon rides. Open everyday from 9am-6pm

Address: 125 Plumtrees Rd. Bethel, CT 06801 – Approx 40 minutes

 

Castle Hill Farm

Visit Castle Hill Farm this fall and take a walk through their patch! They have over 40 different varieties of pumpkins and gourds to look through! Hayrides and an epic 7-acre corn maze (don’t worry, you get a map!). Open Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

Address: 25 Sugar Lane, Newtown, CT 06470 – Approx 40 minutes

 

Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm
Located in the scenic Litchfield Hills, this family-owned and operated farm lets you pick your own strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, plum, sweet corn, pears, apples, pumpkins and gourds. They also have hay rides, an amazing corn maze and a vintage train set for the kiddies to play with. Open Monday-Saturday: 9am-6pm and Sunday 8am-4pm

Address: 461 Cornwall Bridge Rd. Rte.4, Sharon CT – Approx 1 hour 30 minutes

 

Harris Hill Farm

Harris Hill Farm has been the area’s premier pumpkin grower for more than 20 years.  On weekends during the month of October, they open their farm to the community and offer a pick-your-own pumpkin patch.  They also invite their guests to enjoy corn trivia, a ride on their hay wagon and to meet the farm animals in their barns. They specialize in large, high quality, jack-o-latern style pumpkins. Open from 10 am to 5:00 pm Saturdays & Sundays

Address: 106 Ridge Road, New Milford CT 06776 – Just over an hour

 

Jones Family Farm
newcanaandarienmoms.com favorite! Established in 1848, this 400-acre farm offers pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries and pumpkins with farm animals, hayrides, corn maze, fall flowers, fresh apples and piles of autumn squash. Pumpkin season is located at Pumpkinseed Hill at 120 Beardsley Road in Shelton. Open from 10 am to 5:30 pm. 

Address: 120 Beardsley Road Shelton, CT 06484 – Approx. 45 minutes

 

Lyman Orchards
Established in 1741, the farm is located on 1,100 acres in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. You’ll find apples, pears, pumpkins and more. The Apple Barrel offers fresh baked pies, apple cider donuts, muffins, cookies, breads, pastries and more desserts. Apple barrel is open 9am-7pm daily.

Address: 32 Reeds Gap Rd. Middlefield, CT 06455 – Just over 1 hour

 

March Farm
March Farm is a fourth generation family farm destination offering seasonal Pick Your Own apples & pumpkins along with family friendly activities. The Farm Store & Bakery is stocked with farm grown produce, regional food specialties and fresh baked goods – everything you need to compliment your next meal or desert. Enjoy family friendly activities including: (Hill Top Corn Maze, Pond Side Animal Yard, Hayloft Playscape & Pavillion) Open Everyday 10am – 6pm

Address: 160 Munger Lane Bethlehem, CT 06751 – Approx. 1 hour 15 min

 

Silverman’s Farm
Go enjoy their five-acre Animal Farm, visit their Country Market and pick your own pumpkins. Conditions change daily, so please call before coming for picking conditions! Currently available at their farm market – daily-fresh baked pies, cider donuts and baked goods, local honey, syrups and more! Animal farm will be open daily till Christmas (weather permitting) Open daily 9am-5pm.

Address: 451 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, CT 06612 – Approx 25 min

2017

Cooler temperatures are coming soon which means sweater weather, big cups of hot cocoa, back-to-school, and of course APPLE SEASON! Here is a list of the best family friendly recommendations in CT and two in New York in case you want a convenient place to meet out of town friends!

In addition to apple picking, many of these wonderful farms also offer things like petting zoos, photo op areas, cider mills, corn mazes, hayrides and even pumpkin patches later in the season.

*Apple varieties vary depending on the month, so be sure to call ahead to confirm what fruits each farm currently has to offer.

 

Averill Farm
A tenth generation family farm on a gorgeous hilltop offering fall fruits: apples & pears, along with goodies from many area farms as well, including ice cream, squash, and pumpkins. Open 9:30-5:30 every day

Address: 250 Calhoun Street, Washington Depot, CT 06794 – Just over 1 hour

Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard
Their farm store is OPEN every day from 10am-5:30pm. They have lots of fresh peaches, nectarines, and apples available, as well as apple cider, pies, donuts, cookies, honey, and MORE! They do accept debit/credit cards inside the farm store (except American Express). Pick-Your-Own is WEEKENDS ONLY (Saturdays and Sundays) from 10am-5pm, weather permitting. Cash or check only for Pick-Your-Own. Pricing is $1.60 per pound + $1.00 per bag entrance fee.

Address: 278 Leavenworth Road, Route 110 in the White Hills section of Shelton, CT 06484 – Approx. 40 minutes

Belinsky Farm
On their small, yet beautiful farm, they have a wide assortment of products. They especially pride themselves on their Christmas Trees!  Open from 9am- 5pm on weekends; call for weekday hours.

Address: 124 Moose Hill Road, Oxford, CT. – Approx 45 min

Bishops Orchard
Bishop’s Orchards is an agricultural operation in Guilford, Connecticut, that serves as a farm, retail market, tourist attraction and winery. Bishop’s Orchards began operating as a family farm in 1871. Open 10am-5pm everyday

Address: 1355 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437 – Just under 1 hour

Blue Jay Orchards
Blue Jay Orchards is a picturesque 140 acre farm nestled in the quaint New England town of Bethel, Connecticut.  It is one of the very few remaining commercial orchards in Fairfield County. They offer apple picking, a pumpkin patch and wagon rides. Open everyday from 9am-6pm

Address: 125 Plumtrees Rd. Bethel CT,  06801 – Approx 40 minutes

Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm
Located in the scenic Litchfield Hills, this family-owned and operated farm lets you pick your own strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, plum, sweet corn, pears, apples, pumpkins and gourds. They also have hay rides, an amazing corn maze and a vintage train set for the kiddies to play with. Open Monday-Saturday: 9am-6pm and Sunday 8am-4pm

Address: 461 Cornwall Bridge Rd. Rte.4, Sharon CT – Approx 1 hour 30 minutes

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard (NY)
This orchard is situated on 200 plus acres located in the Croton Falls section of North Salem. Attractions include barnyard animals, a greenhouse, apple picking, hay rides, a small shop that stocks mostly vintage and antique kitchen items, and an overflowing farm stand of myriad produce, much of it grown on the property: apples, plums, peaches, squash, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, and more. There’s also honey, maple syrup, fudge, preserves, and baked goods–the warm doughnuts and cider are a store favorite. Open daily 9am-430pm

Address: 130 Hardscrabble Rd, Croton Falls, NY – 35 minutes

Horse Listeners Orchard
Horse Listener’s Orchard is a beautiful 153 Acre Orchard with apples, peaches, tomatoes, vegetables and blueberries asking to be picked and bought. As well as Pony rides on weekends, special tours and festivals throughout the season. We have a store filled with candy, seeds, flowers, mustards, syrups, jams, jellies, “high” pies, wool blankets made from our very own sheep and fresh eggs from the chickens we keep. Open 10am-4pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday

Address: 317 Bebbington Rd, Ashford, CT – Approx 1 hour 45 minutes

Jones Family Farm
Established in 1848, this 400-acre farm offers pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries and pumpkins with hay ride, as well as Christmas trees and a farm winery with Tasting Room. Pumpkin season is located at Pumpkinseed Hill at 120 Beardsley Road in Shelton. The farm’s preview weekend is the last weekend in September and the season runs daily through Halloween. Open from 10 am to 5:30 pm. 

Address: 120 Beardsley Road Shelton, CT 06484 – Approx. 45 minutes

Lyman Orchards
Established in 1741, the farm is located on 1,100 acres in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. You’ll find apples, pears, pumpkins and more. The Apple Barrel offers fresh baked pies, apple cider donuts, muffins, cookies, breads, pastries and more desserts. Apple barrel is open 9am-7pm daily.

Address: 32 Reeds Gap Rd. Middlefield, CT 06455 – Just over 1 hour

March Farm
March Farm is a fourth generation family farm destination offering seasonal Pick Your Own apples & pumpkins along with family friendly activities. The Farm Store & Bakery is stocked with farm grown produce, regional food specialties and fresh baked goods – everything you need to compliment your next meal or desert. Enjoy family friendly activities including: (Hill Top Corn Maze, Pond Side Animal Yard, Hayloft Playscape & Pavillion) Open Everyday 10am – 6pm

Address: 160 Munger Lane Bethlehem, CT 06751 – Approx. 1 hour 15 min

Outhouse Orchards (NY)
Their one of a kind farm is a must see during the Fall season. Take a trip up to scenic Croton Falls and walk through their Apple orchard as the leaves change color around you. Their farm stand is currently open until Thanksgiving specializing in apples, produce from their gardens (especially leafy greens), local honey and maple syrup. They also offer hay rides and have an awesome corn maze. Open daily 9am-5pm

Address: 139 Hardscrabble Road , North Salem, NY 10560 – Approx. 35 minutes

Rogers Orchards
Established in 1809, Rogers Orchards represents eight generations of family fruit growing in Southington, CT. A bicentennial farm, Rogers Orchards is a Connecticut landmark and a proud testament to Connecticut’s farming heritage. Their stores feature some of the best fruit our region has to offer, as well as seasonal CT grown vegetables, including vine-ripened tomatoes and sweet corn.  Apple picking season has begun and continues until mid-October. Pick Your Own Hours: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm

Address: Sunnymount Salesroom, 2876 Meriden-Waterbury Tpke, Southington, CT OR Home Farm Salesroom, 336 Long Bottom Road, Southington, CT – Approx. 1 hour from

 Scotts Orchard & Nursery
Almost fifty acres of apples and pears are ripening in the Glastonbury sun. Scott’s Orchard is located on Glastonbury’s famous “Apple Hill,” a prime location on New London Turnpike. Besides the pretty fruit trees, nice views from miles around can be seen from the orchard. Open daily – Monday-Saturday 8am-6pm and Sunday 8am-5pm

Address: 1838 New London Tpk. Glastonbury, CT 06033 – Approx. 1 hour 15 minutes

Silverman’s Farm
Go enjoy their five-acre Animal Farm, visit our Country Market and pick your own fruit and berries from late June – September/October. Conditions change daily, so please call before coming for picking conditions!
APPLES – now picking, though kinds change daily! Currently available at their farm market – daily-fresh baked pies, cider donuts and baked goods, local honey, syrups and more! Animal farm will be open daily till Christmas (weather permitting) Open daily 9am-5pm.

Address: 451 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, CT 06612 – Approx 25 min

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